What’s up, dear movie buff ?! – Our interview column | Part 25: Alessandro Giannini

The beauty of cinema is to see beyond what the eye can capture. Talking about cinema is a beautiful proof of love for the feeling of curiosities that afflict this immense world in which we live. Every type of film, of every genre, seeks the important link in the presentation of emotions to the viewer, whoever they are. Thinking better to understand the reasons why cinema is so rich for our existence as human beings, this eternal young cinephile who writes to you sought cinephiles across Brazil (some even in the world) to tell you a little about their film career.

A highly regarded journalist, he has worked in several renowned vehicles on the national scene, a film critic with an always intelligent analysis of works. Our guest today is the great Alessandro Giannini. He was a reporter for Set magazine, editor-in-chief of UOL’s cinema, and worked for some time with the staff of Metro newspaper, in addition to his stint with Jornal O Globo, among others. Every time I saw Giannini’s name in the text I paid even more attention to it because it was always a great class, mainly because you realize right away that you are a big movie buff, always with beautiful references.

Curiosity of those who write to you: once, ten years ago in front of the Estação Botafogo, during these wonderful marathons of the RJ Festival, in Voluntários da Pátria street, near a popcorn stand still there, I saw Alê read the Festival program. I was going to talk to him but I was ashamed (laughs).

1) In your city, what is your favorite cinema in relation to the programming? Detail the reason for the choice.

It is difficult to answer this question by pinning a place, because in São Paulo we have at least three cinemas with programs that deviate from the more commercial menu – some of them run away like the devil from the cross. In order: Cultural Reserve, Espaço Itaú and Cinesesc.

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2) What’s the first movie that you remember seeing and thinking: the cinema is a different place?

The first one I saw in the movies was a Disney version of Robinson Crusoe or the infamous Robinson family. But I don’t have a vivid memory of that moment. However, I do remember watching John Ford’s Tracks of Hate on TV with my dad and crying like a child – which I actually was – when John Wayne finally met Natalie Wood.

3) Who is your favorite director and his favorite movie?

Another difficult question which evolves according to the moment. I think Martin Scorsese is a genius, and that’s kind of proven by his work and his films like Indomitable Bull or The Good Companions or Casino. After all, the guy is a movie buff and did two papers which are courses on American and Italian cinema. But I could also quote Roberto Rossellini (Rome, Open City) and Fellini (Amarcord).

4) What is your favorite national film and why?

Assault on the Train Payer, by Roberto Farias. Based on a true story, the film depicts the famous assault on the Central do Brasil train. I think it’s a film that speaks and shows how social prejudice and racism works in Brazil.

5) What does being a movie buff mean to you?

It is a passion that has no limits or preferences. I think a real cinephile doesn’t reject Marvel movies and only consumes art films. He faces everything. And you may like one type of movie or another more, but you’re always open to discovering something new.

6) Do you think that most of the theaters you know have programs made by people who understand cinema?

Not most. Large complexes certainly have competent professionals, but they treat the products with a more commercial aspect than a cinephile. Now the theaters I mentioned above are run by people with a bit keener eye, while seeing what they can get out of the movies.

7) Will cinemas ever end?

I find that impossible, because it is a place of entertainment and also of reflection. Just as the theaters are not finished and the libraries are not closed. What can happen is a transformation, but I cannot say how.

8) Indicate a movie that you think many haven’t seen but which is great.

Honeyland. It was nominated for an Oscar for an international film and a feature length documentary. A storytelling prodigy and an emotional portrait of a very ailing character with a huge taste for life. Sadly, it was purchased just before the pandemic hit us. Anyone who has the opportunity, please watch. It is a beauty.

9) Do you think theaters should reopen before we have a vaccine for covid-19?

No, although I think a lot of these companies will suffer even if they open up with remote measurements.

10) How do you see the quality of Brazilian cinema today?

Until the entry of the current government, we were in a virtuous circle. The statistics compiled by Ancine have shown this. An industry that employed 300,000 people and that had overtaken other traditional segments. It’s very sad, because we’ve made a lot of good films, a new generation coming out. What we have today are spasms. You see a Pacarrete here, a Match there … But this explosion of news, I think it will take some time to happen again.

11) Tell the Brazilian artist that you don’t miss a movie.

Beto Brant is a guy who always does interesting things and turns me on. His Invader is one of my ten best Brazilian films of all time. Another is Jorge Furtado, who hasn’t toured much. Fernando Meirelles too.

12) Define cinema with a sentence.

It is a place of peace and meeting with myself (A cliché, of course, but true).

13) Tell an unusual story that you witnessed in a movie theater.

I have been to many “kiosks”, the famous sessions for journalists, throughout my career. But none were as entertaining as David Lynch’s City of Dreams (2001), which has this split structure – it’s almost two movies in one. And a well-respected critic, very old and with an incontinence problem, left the room to use the bathroom just before the turn. When he came back he stood there for a few minutes, until he asked someone what movie they were showing. He himself, who is no longer with us, laughed at the situation.

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